July 19, 2022
Contact: Ryan Zimmerman
Phone: 219-882-2255
[email protected]  

RailCats Rush Railroaders in Series Opener 

Gary, IN – The Gary SouthShore RailCats made the most of their first matchup against the Cleburne Railroaders this season as they cruised to a 13-5 victory to kick off the three-game series. 

Though pitching dominated early, the RailCats produced 13 runs on 10 hits while drawing nine walks from the fourth inning onward on their way to reclaiming fourth place in the East Division. 

Through the first three innings, both starting pitchers kept their respective opposing lineups under control.  In his first trip through the order, Harrison Francis allowed just one run, a Zach Nehrir RBI single, striking out four and stranding four Railroaders on base. 

It was not until the fourth inning that the RailCats broke through, but when they did, they made sure to put up a crooked number.  Michael Woodworth and Jonathan Engelmann led off with a single and walk respectively before a fielder’s choice placed runners on the corners.  Victor Nova followed up by driving a game-tying single to right field, and LG Castillo‘s double one batter later gave Gary SouthShore their first lead. 

A Sam Abbott walk then loaded the bases before a wild pitch led to a third run, and Jackson Smith ripped another base hit for the fourth run of the frame.  The next hitter, Tom Walraven, capped off the scoring through his single, and in the blink of an eye, the RailCats found themselves ahead 5-1. 

Even as the Railroaders cut their deficit to three on a Nehrir home run the very next inning, Gary SouthShore were unfazed as they went right back to work offensively.  Engelmann’s infield single led off the frame, and he advanced to second base on Nova’s walk.  Castillo grooved a base hit to plate Engelmann, and the RailCats re-loaded the bases on another Abbott walk.  

Once again, Smith came through, this time lining a single to right field to bring two runs across, kicking off a stretch of three run-scoring hits in four at-bats.  Nate Scantlin plated one on his base hit, and Woodworth’s two-run double concluded the scoring as the RailCats generated six runs to pull ahead 11-2. 

All the while, Francis continued to pitch brilliantly on the hill.  He ended up tossing 6.2 innings, permitting two Cleburne runs on six hits while striking out 10 batters to secure his third win of the season.  As a result of his outing, Francis becomes the second RailCats starter to reach double-digit strikeouts in a start after John Sheaks fanned 12 against the Milwaukee Milkmen on May 27. 

Not content with their total, the ‘Cats reignited for two more tallies in the bottom of the eighth. Walks to Woodworth and Engelmann opened the frame, and after both base runners moved up 90 feet on a wild pitch, Nova and Jesus Marriaga both grounded out to score two more to give the RailCats a 13-2 advantage going into the top of the ninth. 

Though the Railroaders struck for three runs in their final turn at-bat, the deficit proved too much to overcome as the RailCats shut the door on their divisional foe and locked up the win. 

The RailCats return to The Steel Yard tomorrow at 6:45 p.m. to face the Railroaders in game two of the series.  All the action will be streamed on, 95.9 WEFM, and the Gary SouthShore RailCats Broadcast Network through the Mixlr app.